Re: Cory Zoll's query about burlap
- Subject: Re: [cg] Cory Zoll's query about burlap
- From: David Smead email@example.com
- Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 23:31:48 -0700 (PDT)
Burlap, if nothing else, keeps the wind from blowing your mulch away.
Growing up in Vermont during the 1940s and 50s, my family `insulated'
around the base of the house using leaves held in place with burlap bags -
originally filled with grains for the livestock.
On opening day of trout season, May 15th, I'd dig into the leaves for
worms, and sometime later, as garden plantings gained some height, help
spread the partially decomposed leaves between the rows. At that time,
grain sacks were re-usable, so we never had a surplus of them.
Today, it's hard to imagine gardening without them. Anything stuffed
under burlap will decompose much quicker than without. The bags tend to
rot into strips along the outside edges. You'll find that strips lay
nicely between rows, or between the raised bed and your plants so in the
end, not much goes into the `final pile'.
Our preference for coffee, like most choices, is small and local - we used
to have a two man roaster in back of our office, but their total volume
was quite small. However, I've picked up many a load of sacks from
Tully's in Seattle.
Tully's has also supplied many garbage bags of chafe. It flies around in
any kind of breeze, so the last few times I've used it, I first put some
water in the bag and made a mess. If one could figure out the right ratio
of water, you could probably make an `organic chafe cement' that would
harden for a season and block all weeds, decomposing the following winter.
On the subject of mulch, don't forget your local microbrewery. Spent hops
and grains are and excellent source of organic material that can be yours
for the asking. You might want to drink a brew or two while you're there
- why let the microbes in your garden have all the fun.
On Tue, 6 May 2003, bill ruffin wrote:
> I used it in Cincinnati to mulch a raised bed of
> lavender. It kept cats from pooping in the 1/3 sand
> soil, slowed down the weeds from apppearing (but did
> not stop them), tended to stabilize the soil--the bed
> was sloped at first, and the sand tended to run to one
> side without the burlap. And I believe the burlap held
> together for at least a year. The bed was only a 4x10,
> so lots of burlap was not needed; and was easy to get
> in Cincinnati anyway. The burlap mulch was great for
> the lavender because the fragrance of the oil in the
> buds (which is what we used to make lavender wands and
> satchets with) develops more concentrated when the
> plants have less organic matter in the soil. Then, as
> the burlap broke down and fell apart, I put it in the
> compost bins. Here in Guam, burlap seems to be harder
> to get than in Cincinnati; but I have yet to start
> really gardening here.
> Do you Yahoo!?
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